Why Habitat is Needed
The world is experiencing a global housing crisis.
- About 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing and 100 million are homeless.(1)
- Each week, more than 1 million people are born in, or move to, cities in the developing world.(2)
- One billion people (32 percent of the global urban population) live in urban slums.
- If no serious action were taken, the number of slum dwellers worldwide would increase over the next 30 years to nearly 2 billion.(3)
In the United States alone, 95 million people have housing problems.
Including payments too large a percentage of their income, overcrowding, poor quality shelter and homelessness.(4)
Clean, decent, and stable housing provides more than just a roof over someone’s head.
- Stability for families and children.
- Sense of dignity and pride.
- Health, physical safety, and security.
- Increase of educational and job prospects.
The transformational ability of good housing.
- Clean, warm housing is essential for prevention and care of diseases of poverty like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, diarrhea, and malaria.(5)
- Children under five in Malawi living in Habitat for Humanity houses have 44 percent less malaria, respiratory or gastrointestinal diseases compared to children living in traditional houses.(6)
Housing is a great means of wealth creation.
- Home ownership is a form of wealth accumulation through equity and forced savings from mortgage repayment.(7)
- Housing construction creates job opportunities for migrants to cities and stimulates the creation of small business.
- The process of securing land tenure helps to increase access to credit.(8)
Good housing attracts economic investment and development.
- Contributes to thriving school systems and community organizations.
- A catalyst for civic activism and a stimulus for community-based organizations.
- Safe homes and neighborhoods help to build social stability and security.(9)
Housing must become a priority
- The percentage of people without access to decent, stable housing is rising.
- Increasing the housing supply across the globe is essential.
- Adequate housing is vitally important to the health of the world’s economies, communities, and populations.
- If we are to succeed in the fight against poverty, we must support the expansion of housing both as policy and as practice.